Single-aisled domed church at Polystylon
© Region of Eastern Macedonia & Thrace
Location: The church is located inside the Byzantine town on the northwest side of the hill, at the west part of Byzantine Polystylon.
The Monument: According to the coins and the pottery found in the ruins of the church during the excavation works, the monument dates from the 12th-13th centuries. The excavation finds show that the church was probably destroyed around the 15th century.
It is a compact-type, cross-in-style, inscribed church with a dome that ends to a niche to its east side having three sides on the exterior.
The entrance with a marble step preserved at its original position was situated in the middle of the west side of the monument.
According to the excavator, monument has characteristic walls, which are thick in relation to its dimensions, having a thickness of 0.72 m. It has an elaborate masonry and the stones used for its construction are taken from buildings of the classical period.
The cemetery around the church is also interesting. It contained cist and shaft graves built with middle-sized stones, while some tufa stone sarcophagi from an earlier roman cemetery were also used. Wooden coffins have been used in this cemetery as it can be assumed by the large number of nails found in the tombs. According to the excavators, this is a sign that this burial method was widespread. A copper coin of the first half of the 13th century is probably an element leading to conjecture that the cemetery dates to that period.
A broken plate from the Ottoman period was found on the floor of the church together with an early Ottoman coin, suggesting that the desertion of Polystylon must have taken place after the occupation of the area by the Ottomans.
Βιβλιογραφία: Χ. ΜΠΑΚΙΡΤΖΗΣ, Ανασκαφή Πολυστύλου Αβδήρων, Πρακτικά Αρχαιολογικής Εταιρείας (1982)• Χ. ΜΠΑΚΙΡΤΖΗΣ, Νομός Ξάνθης Πολύστυλο (Άβδηρα), Αρχαιολογικόν Δελτίον 37 (1982)• Χ. ΜΠΑΚΙΡΤΖΗΣ, Βυζαντινή Θράκη, 330-1453, Θράκη, Αθήνα 1994• Χ. ΜΠΑΚΙΡΤΖΗΣ - Δ. ΤΡΙΑΝΤΑΦΥΛΛΟΣ, Θράκη, (Πολιτιστικοί Οδηγοί), Αθήνα 1988• Ν. ΚΑΛΛΙΝΤΖΗ - Δ. ΤΕΡΖΟΠΟΥΛΟΥ - Ν. ΖΗΚΟΣ - Σ. ΔΑΔΑΚΗ, Άβδηρα - Πολύστυλον (Αρχαιολογικός Οδηγός), Ξάνθη 1998• Χ. ΜΠΑΚΙΡΤΖΗΣ, Ανασκαφή Πολυστύλου, Πρακτικά Αρχαιολογικής Εταιρείας (1983)• Γ. ΧΡ. ΤΣΙΓΑΡΑΣ, Μονόχωρος τρουλλαίος ναός στο Πολύστυλο, στο: Θρησκευτικά Μνημεία στο Νομό Ξάνθης, επιμέλεια: Γεώργιος Χρ. Τσιγάρας, Ξάνθη 2005.